Monday, December 30

Book Review: Always and Forever

Title: Always and Forever

Author: Cathy Kelly

Pages: 616

Summary: Once upon a time, in the beautiful tow of Carrickwell, lived three women whose lives were mapped out: ambitious Mel would have her career and her family: caring Daisy a child with the boyfriend who is everything to her: and hot-headed Cleo would finish her degree and step into the family hotel business.

Until the landscape shifted and it all came tumbling down.

But Carrickwell, nestled in the shadows of Mount Carraig, is an ancient, magical place. And when Leah, a woman with her own secret turmoil, opens the Cloud Hill spa, Mel, Daisy and Cleo are thrown together - and find the courage to discover what really matters to them, always and forever.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book started off very strong out for me. At times it was a book that made me laugh out loud. And for the first half of the book, it was one I was rushing to get though. While for the most part it was filled with characters I enjoyed reading about, it did begin to drag for me. But overall, this was a great book.

Daisy's story was the one I enjoyed the least, in fact for the most part, I didn't like her much at all. She wasn't a character I could warm up to and I never connected to her emotional turmoil she was going through. I thought she was blind when it came to her boyfriend and that she was very self-centered and immature for her age. I also felt she wanted a baby for the wrong reasons and it bothered me to no end with her constant want for it. I felt she lacked any maturity to actually have a child, and by the end of the book, while she had some development, I felt that her development was one of the weakest, although her ending was fitting.

Cleo was a character I had a love hate relationship with. I enjoyed some aspects of her and her story, but others were cringe worthy. Her whole romantic side of the book was a big cliché and very predictable. I did enjoy her outspokenness and her personality at times, but I also felt it was overplayed in the book and it began to become repetitive. Her development was fairly natural, but I didn't like how her part of the story ended, it was all to convenient, all to perfectly wrapped up. It felt forced to get her there and like the romantic aspects of her story, it was very cliché and predictable.

I enjoyed Mel's story the most. She was the character I could identify with the most and felt her story was the most natural of the three. While there were parts I didn't like, I do think her personal journey worked out the best and her development was the most natural. Her turnaround was a bit rushed, but she was an overall well balance character.

The overall story on how they all came together worked well. I liked how it played out and I do think it was very natural on how they all came together and met. It didn't feel forced, especially considering they are from a smaller community it is believable that their paths would cross. I think the author did a good job at bringing it together and avoiding making the three women's meeting forced.

My only other issue I had with the book was that by the end I was beginning to get bored with the book. While the author took her time to properly develop the characters and their stories, I did feel the book was beginning to drag on.

Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable read and is a book that's well worth checking out.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the book was a very good read

What to read next: Whitethorn Woods by Meave Binchy, Marian Keys and I'd check out the authors other books as well

Challenges: Ireland Reading Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge

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